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A short story about a girl and her dog

By Stephanie RosasPublished 2 years ago 8 min read
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

I opened my eyes and found myself sitting in darkness. Slightly dazed and confused, I tried to remember where I was and how I got there. I felt the soft, velvet fuzz of the couch on my fingers and realized I was home. I must have fallen asleep watching TV, I thought to myself as I tried to search for the remote control. Feeling my way around, I found it and anxiously pressed all the buttons on top hoping to turn on the TV. Nothing. “Maybe the power went out,” I whispered into the darkness as if expecting a response. Instead the echo of my voice made the room feel bigger and emptier than what it was. I felt a deep sense of loneliness and fear that I hadn’t had in years.

I thought back to when I moved out of my parents’ house and spent my first night alone in my own apartment. As soon as I turned off the lights, my mind ran wild with fearful thoughts. The shadows made by the moving boxes and new furniture resembled angry men trying to break in to hurt me. I spent the whole night consumed in fear. I left the TV, radio, and lights on all night in hopes that it would turn away danger. The next morning, I raced to the animal shelter looking for a dog that would make me feel safe again. That’s how I found Bailey. He was unlike any of the other dogs there. He was quiet and watchful, as if waiting for the right person to find him. I stopped in front of his cage and smiled at him and in response he gently lifted up his right paw and placed it on the clear, plastic door. It seemed as if he had purposefully placed his paw on the door expecting me to greet him. So I did. I put my hand in front of his and introduced myself, “Hey buddy, would you like to come home with me?” Without hesitation he made a loud bark, throwing his head back as if making an enthusiastic nod. Adopting Bailey was the easiest choice I ever made. I never felt afraid again. Until now.

"Bailey," I whispered into the darkness.

I hung on to the controller hoping that if it became necessary I would be able to use it for self defense. Unlike me, Bailey was always very brave. I knew he wouldn’t be afraid of the dark, but it was strange that he didn’t come running to lay with me as soon as the power went out. I never trained Bailey to be an emotional support or service dog, yet from the beginning he always seemed to know when I needed him. The night I had received a phone call that my dad had had a heart attack and was in the hospital, Bailey must have understood the panic in my eyes, because before I dropped to the floor crying he ran to comfort me. It was as if he knew what I had just heard. He licked my tears clean and nudged my head to get up. Without a word, I could feel him telling me to run to the hospital. Telling me that things will be okay.

"Bailey, where are you buddy,” I asked, trying to move through the darkness listening for any sign of him.

There was a strange silence in the air. Even the crickets had gone quiet. What if something happened? Now with worry, I yelled his name. No response. I felt the tears fill up in my eyes. I can’t lose you. I still need you. I continued to make my way around the house until I found the front door. When I opened it, a cold, wet draft came into the house. Without hesitation, I grabbed the jacket and rain boots by the door and ran outside. The outdoors felt as dark and as quiet as the inside of my house. I tried to look around and see if I could spot anything familiar, but I couldn’t make anything out. It was as if the whole world had been consumed by a strange and cold darkness.

"BAILEY," I yelled.

Suddenly, I heard a distant bark. The same bark I had come to recognize as a warning. Something bad has happened. Maybe he's lost? He only once had ever gotten lost, and it was on a trip we took to the mountains. Early one morning we went on a hike. Bailey had always been such an obedient dog that I decided we didn’t need a leash and off we went. We took a trail considered easy and safe by the locals that would lead to a small waterfall at the end. The hike to the waterfall was short but spectacular. Bailey ran circles around me chasing squirrels and other small creatures, but always came running right back when I called him. On the way back to the cabin, Bailey made an abrupt stop. I froze behind him as I saw the hairs on his back stand and a low growl begin to form. “What is it buddy,” I whispered, afraid to move. His growl grew into a deep, loud bark. Bailey hardly ever barked and definitely had never barked this way before. He began lunging forward barking loudly at the collection of trees. I called him again telling him to come. Instead, he dashed into the woods, barking, leaving me behind. Don't go. Afraid of the woods, I ran back to our cabin. I pondered, wondering who to call to help me. He was lost and it was my fault. When I finally attempted to walk back to the area, fearing whatever may have caused him to act that way, Bailey jumped out of the bushes to greet me unaware of my betrayal. It’s as if he knew I would come back. He had more faith in me than I ever did in myself. I never found out what made him run off and never cared to. All I knew is that Bailey was fine and that’s all that mattered to me.

"BAILEY," I called into the darkness.

I heard the bark again, I was getting closer. I continued to walk towards the sound not knowing where I was going. I won’t let you go. The air felt colder. I stuck my hands into my jacket pockets searching for warmth. To my surprise, one of the pockets contained a small flashlight. Excitedly I turned it on and called for Bailey again. I was going to find him. I flashed the light around until finally I saw a distant, furry figure barking.

"BAILEY," I continued to yell.

He noticed me running towards him, but didn't come towards me. He was stuck, but it was hard to tell from so far and with so little light why he was stuck. I’m coming for you. I rushed to him as fast as I could when the distinguishable sound of a gunshot went off. I dropped to the floor fearing someone had confused me for a deer. I slowly patted myself all around searching for a wound. Nothing. I was okay. They missed me. I got up again to continue to run towards Bailey. He had stopped barking and was just staring at me. Waiting for me. I’m here. I’m here.

"Bailey… it's okay, I'm here," I began to say.

I had almost reached him, when I noticed the pain in his face. His body slowly collapsed to the floor revealing blood gushing from the side. I’m too late. No matter how fast I ran to him, distance seemed to grow between us. Rather than being steps away from him, he felt miles apart. I ran faster, yet I was stuck in place watching him disintegrate in front me. No, no, no, you can’t die. When I finally reached him, his body turned to vapor and was blown away by the wind. He was gone. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to tell him how much I loved him or how thankful I was for him in my life.


When I opened my eyes again, I was laying in bed. I looked around me and saw it was morning and the sun was shining into my room. It was a dream. I was home and everything was okay. I turned my glance towards the corner of my room to find Bailey sleeping soundly on his bed. Relief set in knowing it wasn’t real and that I was just dreaming. “Bailey, you won't believe what happened...,” I said, rushing towards him to give him a kiss. Very slowly he glanced at me and gave a small nudge with his nose. I had forgotten how old he was. “It wasn’t just a dream, was it, bud,” I asked him, seeing sadness in his gray eyes. I leaned my head towards his and whispered, “It’s okay buddy, you can let go. I’ll be okay.” My heart stung knowing this was the end, but it was my turn to be brave for him, “Thank you for your love and protection. I’ll always be grateful,” He closed his eyes as if turning back to sleep taking small, shallow breaths. He exhaled gently as I wept over him, “It’ll be okay. I love you.”


About the Creator

Stephanie Rosas

just your average writer writing about stuff.

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